MO: Ozark Winnies

Ozark Winnies November Outing

The last meeting of 2021 started early for some of us. Six units were ready to start the meeting the week of October 18, even though the official date for the meeting was November 7-11. Although there were a few days of rain and cool temps, for the first two weeks of our stay in Branson, the weather was fantastic, with pleasant days and cool nights. On several evenings around dusk, one could find many of the group assembled around the fire of friendship and warmth for a time of fellowship. And maybe a glass of a little something to help with the warmth. Thanks to the Wollin’s, Donnelly’s, Murphy’s, Robinson’s and Wallis for providing the propane firepits. The week before the meeting officially started even the firepits weren’t enough as the weather plunged to below freezing for several nights with daytime highs in the forties. Did our very own weatherman predict this? Well, if you have been a member of the chapter anytime at all, you know the answer to that.

Group of people gathered around a campfire.

Five of the early arrival units were represented at the first Taco Tuesday at El Lago. Had it not been for a doctor appointment, we would have needed a table for twelve instead of ten. We were saddened to learn, however, that the $1 tacos are now $1.45. The week ended with several of the group going to Rocco’s for pizza. On Sunday, everyone gathered at Chip’s motorhome with snacks to watch the Chief’s lose again. The second week started with several of the group meeting at Hard Luck Diner to help Chip’s brother celebrate his birthday. Of course we really don’t need a birthday to eat out, do we? There was no birthday on Thursday when several of the group traveled to Ozark to the unique, military themed Café B-29; good food too.

On Halloween afternoon, all of the group along with several friends and family, totaling twenty-five or thirty, enjoyed a gathering with sandwiches and finger foods at Chip’s motorhome. Sadly no one showed up in costume, although a few did look pretty scary. Joy and Teresa created a very festive and Halloweeny looking venue. As the afternoon wore, on and the temperatures dropped, the firepits came out. Some stuck it out until almost dark, but most were back in their warm motorhomes by then.

Group socializing outside among RVs.

On November 2, nine of the group attended a performance of A Flight to Faith: The Story of a Vietnam P.O.W. This patriotic play was adapted to stage, produced and performed by College of the Ozarks students. That evening twelve dined at Florentina’s, a favorite Italian restaurant in Branson, while two returned to Branson West for Taco Tuesday. Other activities leading up to the meeting included shopping, attending shows, riding the Ferris wheel, playing cards and in general enjoying one another’s company. In addition to the ones already mentioned, several other restaurants in the area, McFarlain’s, Little Hacienda, Grand Country, Pizza Ranch, Billy Bob’s and Olive Garden among them, experienced cash flow increases. We do seem to stimulate the local economy wherever we go. There were also several Veteran’s Week activities that some participated in.

On November 7 Rocky and Vickie Mastis provided a lunch of brisket, slaw, spinach pie, Joy’s potato salad, and baclava and cookies for dessert, for all of us at their new home in Branson. Several were disappointed that Rocky did not cook the one thing he is famous for, grilled hot dogs. Thank you, Rocky and Vicki, for your hospitality and sharing your beautiful home with us.
The first scheduled meeting activity was a Monday morning show. Thirty-three attended the Hot Rods and High Heels Christmas Show at the Clay Cooper Theater. The show featured a talented cast of eight singing the best music ever; the true rock and roll music of the 50’s. Yeah, I know. Probably not everyone will agree with the person writing this newsletter about the best music ever. To do that one would have to include classic country and southern gospel in the comparison.

After the show many were busy making soups and other sides for our now annual soup dinner. Forty-three met at the Cotrill Building and enjoyed every side dish imaginable and enough soups to feed a small army. And were they delicious; zuppa tuscany, tortilla, vegetable beef, potato, cheese and broccoli, chicken noodle, taco, white chicken chili and Earl Orr’s cabbage and beef. For you newer members, Earl was a long-time Gateway and Win-nie-MO-Tasca member and his cabbage soup was al-ways a big hit at state club meetings.

People gathered in room eating food.

Thirty-three attended the second show, The Clay Cooper Christmas Show, on Tuesday morning. One probably doesn’t have to guess too hard to determine the location was also at the Clay Cooper Theater. It was also a very good show with many talented singers and dancers. Every year it is at, or near, the top of Branson’s Favorites list. Clay is a very personable individual who interacts with the audience and on this day, two that he picked out of the audience were Robert and Vivian. The meal for this evening was a potluck dinner. Thirty-five brought their offerings to the Cotrill Building and once again there was enough food to feed a small army.

On Wednesday morning, twenty-two attended The Cassandre Show at the Hughes Brother’s Theater. This was the first time many of us had seen her show. Wow, what a talent she is. The ones who chose to not attend this show missed a good one.
Due to circumstances beyond Barb McConnell’s control, our Treasure Lake catered dinner plans for Wednesday evening were changed. Instead of a catered dinner at The Lodge, we met at Grand Buffet for an ‘all one could eat’ feast. The cost of the meal was more than we were planning on and had collected for. The chapter leadership made the decision for the chapter to pay the difference. Thanks to your generous donations the additional cost to the chapter was minimal. And to our delight, Barb was able to join us for dinner. We had forty-two for dinner. We had a bigger group than some of the bus tours had.

On Thursday morning, thirty-seven got out of bed early and made the trip to the Cotrill Building for what should have been the 4th, but was actually our 3rd, annual ‘You Bring It, We Cook It Scromolete Breakfast’. Those attending enjoyed a combination omelet/scrambled egg breakfast with their choice of ingredients; cheese, mushrooms, peppers, bacon bits, etc., etc., all of which was supplied by the Ozark Winnies. In addition to that, Judy Eaheart provided her world famous cinnamon rolls again this year. Thank you very, very much, Judy. They were delicious. Although, it would have been nice if there had been enough for everyone to have one. That was a joke folks. Judy called to see how many would be attending the meeting. She had made seventy-two cinnamon rolls and was going to make more. With that many available, there might have been one or two of us that enjoyed more than one. After breakfast some packed up and headed home or to warmer climates for the winter. Others stayed at Treasure Lake for an additional day or two.

We had twenty-four units participating in this year’s meeting; Breen, Donnelly, Eaheart, Huff, Johnson, Kelling, Kittrell, Ludwig, Mastis, McCord, Mulvihill, Murphy, Parsons, Reynolds, Robinson, Spene, Taylor, Van Meter, Vinci, Wallis and Wollin. We also welcomed past members Joe and Linda Bergant and guests from Arkansas, Robert and Vivian Blank, who arrived as guests, left as members. We welcome you to our merry little group.

Due to the change in our catered dinner plans, our business meeting plans were also changed. The meeting was held after the soup dinner on Monday evening. The primary order of business was the swearing in of our 2022 officers; Susanne Johnson, President, Carlon Huff, Vice-President and Terry Parsons, Secretary/Treasurer. The honors were performed by past Winnie-MO-Tasca and Ozark Winnies President, Jerry Van Meter. The chapter thanks you for volunteering to fill these positions.

People standing together at front of a room.

The last item on the agenda, although it wasn’t on the copy of the agenda Joy had, was the recognition of Joy Murphy for serving as President of the Ozark Winnies for seven years. The things presented to Joy for her valuable service was in no way meant to set a precedence. But when someone devotes seven years, special recognition is in order. Although not included in the meeting minutes for obvious reasons, all of these were agreed to at the October meeting or by a poll taken over the past several months. Joy was presented with a custom made card signed by those in attendance, a $100 gift card to The Hill, one of her favorite restaurants and her choice of a painting by a famous local artist, Vicki Mastis, who also happens to be one of us. Thank you very much to the Ozark Winnies membership for supporting these gifts. A very special thank you to Linda Ludwig for making the beautiful card. And a very special thank you to Vickie Mastis for making the chapter such a great deal on the painting and then topping that. Your generosity is appreciated more than words can convey.

Woman receiving gifts with others watching.

Our humanitarian project for November was collecting items needed by the Ronald McDonald House in Springfield. A big thank you to everyone for their donations and to the Van Meter’s for delivering the items. This year’s meeting was a little later than it normally is due to another group beating us in making a reservation for the Cottrill Building. That will not happen in 2022. Our reservation request for November 3-6 was submitted in August and has been approved.

We will have a new President, Susanne Johnson, in 2022. In 2014, when Jerry Van Meter was President, there were 9 registered members that are still listed as active members today. As of today, we have 36 registered members. Joy became President in 2015, so most of you have known no other President than her. Susanne is not going to do things the same way that Joy did. That is guaranteed. No President has done things the way the President before them did. But, it is our responsibility, all of us, to stand behind Susanne, to help and to support her in any way we can. Susanne, thank you for taking on this responsibility!


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